Reporters on the Job

Souring on Sugar Daddies: Staff writer Abe McLaughlin met Brenda, the subject of his story on Uganda's "sugar daddies" - older men who shower young women with gifts in exchange for a sexual relationship - at Makerere University, Uganda's most prestigious school. The two were connected by a leader of the 'Go Getters' program, which helps women resist such arrangements.

"As we walked around the lush, hilly campus, we saw the women's dorms that Brenda and others say are the hot spots, especially on Friday nights, when sugar daddies come in their 4x4s to collect the university women," says Abe. "Many of the vehicles, they told me, are government issue, which means the sugar daddies are government officials, some even from the Health Ministry, which focuses on AIDS prevention."

The fact that some health ministry officials are apparently sugar daddies, Abe says, is just one indication of how entrenched the practice is in Ugandan - and African - society.

Report - or swim? Danna Harman has covered plenty of war and famine, so she knew that reporting on Cabo San Lucas, the Mexican resort town, was not exactly a hardship assignment. But it was a tad frustrating to be wielding pad and pen while everyone else on scene was contemplating whether a swim or a snooze would be more fun. So Danna cut a deal. "I promised myself I would ask five people if they had originally planned to be in Cancún, and then go for a swim. The first people I talked to happened to be the McCoys, who were having lunch with their in-laws-to-be - an event originally scheduled for Cancún. The next people I approached had planned their 25th wedding anniversary in Cancún. The third couple were newlyweds - also Cancún refugees." And so it went. "I was finished so quickly I even had time for a buffet lunch."

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor

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